Setting up your architect business from scratch can be challenging yet rewarding. One of the most important concerns architect startups face relates to managing the expenses of setting up the business. From marketing to website design, office space to staffing, there are many ways you can minimize the startup costs.
When you are looking at all the possible ways to minimize your expenses, one of the key area you should focus on relates to obtaining professional liability insurance. Generally, any damage caused as a result of the services provided by a professional can attract a professional liability lawsuit.
A majority of professional liability lawsuits and claims are filed against architects, engineers, and similar professionals. Liability lawsuits cost millions of dollars to businesses each year. Also known as Errors and Omission (E&O) insurance, professional liability insurance ensures you receive compensation for the expenses related to litigation, including accumulated legal fees, settlements, and judgments. Check this website for more information.
Five Ways To Minimize The Cost Of Your Architect Startup
Decide On The Structure:
One of the first steps in setting up your architect firm is to determine your business structure which impacts the cost of the startup. Most entrepreneurs choose sole proprietorship, which does not involve any fee. If you, instead, want to establish an LLC or limited liability company, the state filing fee ranges from $200 to $600 depending on the location.
Work From Home:
Recent real estate trends show office rentals are growing steadily in many cities across the U.S. The average asking rents increased in 2019 by ten percent in Brooklyn, while Houston, Orlando, and San Francisco saw a 3.8 percent growth in rentals. In New York City, the average rent per square foot of office space ranges from $75 to $84. This means the cost of renting about 800 square feet is as high as $5,000 a month. In Boston, Class A properties cost $40, while Class B and C properties cost $30 for a single square foot.
Many architect firms set up their offices at home by utilizing available space in the basement or a guest room. Adding a partition wall can help separate your office from the rest of the available space. Painting the walls and floor, adding electrical receptacles, lighting, work tables, and phone lines can help give the living space a professional look.
In addition to helping you save on office space rentals, operating from home can also help you cut costs related to business taxes, insurance, and utilities. However, it is important to do some preliminary research before you set up your office at home. There may be local bylaws or zoning issues that may prevent setting up your business in a residential area in your neighborhood.
Cut Down On Staffing:
If possible, you can look for students, interns, or older employees who are willing to do some unpaid work to cut down on the costs related to staffing. You can also explore if your family members can help you out in day-to-day operations whenever possible.
Use A Free Website Building Tool:
Websites are powerful marketing tools that help you increase brand visibility, generate leads, and boost sales. If you opt to hire a website designer, there are costs related to website design, domain name, SSL certificate, website hosting, and content management system. According to one estimate, basic website design can cost as much as $6,750. No-cost alternatives in terms of website building tools are offered by Houzz and Wix.com.
Including authoritative and original content in the form of blogs on your website is another way to reach out to your target audience and to ensure your website ranks high in search engines.
If you outsource content writing services, freelancers typically charge per word. While some freelancers may offer packages at a cheaper rate for producing all of the content, there could be extra charges related to updating the pages and for producing additional content. Website copywriting services can cost anywhere from $1500 to $3000, depending on the page length, topic, and content.
By writing your blog, you can save on the costs related to hiring professional content creators. Include consistent, interesting, and informative content to attract potential clients. WordPress.com enables you to set up your free blog, while you can use a hosting service with a small monthly fee.
Save On Equipment:
Keeping the expenses related to your equipment to a bare minimum helps you maximize the savings of your architect startup. While you can upgrade as your business grows, in the initial stage, consider low-cost workstations or basic versions of design software such as AutoCAD.
You can use free Google Docs instead of buying office software while using a print on demand service instead of investing in a printer and copier.